"This book is useful for all parents who want their children to grow up with healthy attitudes in a world that uses race to separate human beings. . . . A worthwhile read."
"This superb, rational, and highly readable volume answers a deeply felt need. Parents and educators alike have long struggled to understand what meanings race might have for the very young, and for ways to ensure that every child grows up with a healthy sense of self. Marguerite Wright handles sensitive issues with consummate clarity, practicality, and hope. Here we have an indispensable guide that will doubtless prove a classic." (Edward Zigler, Ph.D., sterling professor of psychology and director, Yale Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy)
"Here, at last, is an intelligent, well-researched and provocative, yet also comforting and reassuring book of advice. For parents who are trying to raise emotionally healthy children in a racially polarized world, Marguerite Wright has performed a timely and tremAndous public service." (Clarence E. Page, syndicated columnist, The Chicago Tribune)
"As I read Dr. Wright's book, I was reminded of what it's like to peel an onion. Layer after layer, the book uncovers the complex issues surrounding race and children. With wisdom and compassion, she explains how black and biracial children perceive color and race. But, most importantly, she gives us guidelines we need to raise healthy and happy children in our race conscious world. An excellent primer for parents, teachers, counselors, and anyone who is concerned with the future of our children." (Belva Davis, reporter, KRON-TV, San Francisco)
"In her book, Marguarite Wright uses a wealth of examples from her work with children and families and offers a creative array of suggestions and strategies for raising health black and biracial children. This book is a much-needed guide for rearing children in a society that is all too conscious about race." (Tony Paap, president and CEO, Children's Hospital Oakland)
"Finally, a practical and intelligent discussion of a complex issue that is so frequently misunderstood. All those who want to raise healthy children who have a positive sense of themselves can gain valuable lessons from this book." (Pedro Noguera, professor of education, University of California, Berkeley)
"This is simply the best book I've ever read on raising or teaching minority children. It's short . . . filled with memorable observations and useful advice." (Joe Morris, professor and director, School of Psychology, California State University, Northridge)
From the Inside Flap
Myth: Black and biracial children dislike their race from the time they are preschoolers.Reality: Young black and biracial children are unable to understand racial prejudice. In fact, developmentally they are incapable of understanding the concept of race. A child's concept of race is quite different from that of an adult. Young children perceive skin color as magical?even changeable?and unlike adults, are incapable of understanding the mature concepts surrounding race and racism. Just as children learn to walk and talk, they likewise come to understand race in a series of predictable stages. Based on Dr. Marguerite A. Wright's research and clinical experience working as a child psychologist, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla teaches us that the color-blindness of early childhood can, and must, be taken advantage of in order to guide the positive development of a child's self-esteem.I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla is filled with practical, positive, and creative ideas for handling common situations such as what to do when your child says she wants a white doll; how to deal with relatives and friAnds who compare your children's skin colors and hair textures; and how to discipline your children so that they can grow up with self respect. Teachers will gain valuable insights about how preconceptions can contribute to a child's success or failure and how to handle discipline problems in the classroom. Wright answers some fundamental questions about children and race including
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- What do children know and understand about the color of their skin?
- When do children understand the concept of race?
- Are there warning signs that a child is being adversely affected by racial prejudice?
- How can adults avoid instilling in children their own negative perceptions and prejudices?
- What can parents do to prepare their children to overcome the racism they are likely to encounter?
- How can schools lessen the impact of racism?With wisdom an